Survey shows young adults less willing to marry or have kids

A recent survey by the Women’s General Association of Macau has found a significant decline in the desire for marriage and childbearing among young adults aged 18 to 34 in Macau. The findings have raised concerns about the potential impact on the country’s long-term social and demographic sustainability.

Nearly half of the 925 respondents were born in the 1990s, and more than 40% were born in the 2000s. The respondents overwhelmingly said that they had not considered marriage in the last five years.

The survey also found that the average score recording residents’ intention to have children was 4.76 out of 10, a decrease of 1.57 points from the 6.33 points recorded in the 2022 fertility survey.

Wong Kit Cheng, a lawmaker and vice-chairman of the association, expressed concern that the survey results reflect a significant shift in young people’s views on marriage and childbearing. She said that this may further exacerbate the decline in marriage and childbearing rates in the future and will have a negative impact on the sustainable development of society.

To address the issue, the association has recommended a “combination punch” approach, including the introduction of family-friendly benefits such as childcare allowances and parental leave subsidies.

Additionally, the federation has suggested promoting regular housing applications and providing more bonus points for married young families in application scores.

Experts believe that a multifaceted approach involving government, employers, and society as a whole will be necessary to encourage younger generations to embrace marriage and parenthood.

For Wong, the survey results serve as a wake-up call for policymakers to take proactive measures to support young families and address the declining birth rate.

Government data shows that the elderly population in Macau is growing at a fast pace, whereas the birthrate has significantly declined. Just a year ago, there was a nearly equal number of elderly individuals and young people, with approximately one dependent elderly person for every four working adults in the SAR. Staff Reporter

Categories Headlines Macau